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Journal of Community Health

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 269–281 | Cite as

Environmental and Economic Evaluation of the Massachusetts Smoke-free Workplace Law

  • Hillel R. Alpert
  • Carrie M. Carpenter
  • Mark J. Travers
  • Gregory N. Connolly
Article

Abstract

An environmental and economic evaluation of the smoke-free law in Massachusetts provides a broad appreciation of how a state-wide smoking ban affects the health of patrons and workers as well as the industries that are commonly concerned about the effects of smoking bans on business. The aim of this study is to evaluate environmental and economic effects of the statewide Massachusetts statewide Smoke-Free Workplace Law. Before and after the smoking ban, air quality testing was conducted in a sample (n = 27) of hospitality venues and state-wide economic changes were assessed. Compliance, in terms of patronage was measured by person-counts. Environmental outcomes were respirable suspended particles (RSP) less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5). Economic outcomes were meals tax collections, employment in the food services and drinking places and accommodations industries. On average, levels of respirable suspended particles (RSPs) less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) decreased 93% in these venues after the Massachusetts Smoke-free Workplace Law went into effect. No statistically significant changes were observed among the economic indicators. This evaluation demonstrates that the state-wide Massachusetts law has effectively improved indoor air quality in a sample of Massachusetts venues and has not negatively affected several economic indicators.

Keywords

Smoking Tobacco smoke pollution Occupational exposure Economics Legislation and jurisprudence 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hillel R. Alpert
    • 1
  • Carrie M. Carpenter
    • 1
  • Mark J. Travers
    • 2
  • Gregory N. Connolly
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard School of Public Health, Division of Public Health PracticeTobacco Research ProgramBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Behavior, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population SciencesRoswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA

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